Glorious arrogance from Eastlands striker Mario Balotelli.
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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli believes he was a worthy recipient of Tuttosport’s Golden Boy trophy as the best player under the age of 21, claiming he does not even know who fellow contender Jack Wilshere is.
Balotelli finished ahead of Arsenal midfielder Wilshere for the Turin sports newspaper’s award, and reckons he was a deserving winner.
“I am delighted to receive this award,” said Balotelli to Tuttosport.
“Who should have won this award but me? Two years ago I finished sixth and a year ago fourth. It was finally my turn.
“I don’t know who Wilshere is but the next time I play against Arsenal I will keep a close eye on him.
“Perhaps I can show him (Wilshere) the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won it!”
The 20-year-old Balotelli, who joined City in the summer from Inter Milan, hopes this award will be the first of many as he targets domestic and European success in 2011.
“My aim is that this prize will, in the near future, transform itself into the Golden Ball Award,” he said.
“To have won this award is a good omen to achieve that.”
Balotelli has big ambitions for next year.
“All I ask for is two things: to win the Premier League, in order to continue with the tradition I had at Inter of winning three consecutive league titles, and to clinch the Europa League – a trophy that I have not yet won, and a competition where we are considered favourites,” said Balotelli. (Independent)
Mario Balotelli actually didn’t stop there. He went on to say that only one of the previous winners of the prize were or are better than him. The list includes Rafael Van Der Vaart, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Aguero, Anderson and Alexandre Pato.
“There’s only one that is a little stronger than me: Messi. All the others are behind me.”
Many people find it difficult to like Mario Balotelli. His fractious nature, overconfidence, petulance on the field understandably grate – especially when he suddenly performs like he clearly can.
He has the ability, but doesn’t always seem to use it – and last night’s game against Everton was just the most recent example. Balotelli didn’t seem to want to even run around, but still hit the post in the second half the one time he actually seemed to care.
However, I can’t help but like him.
He is just box office entertainment. Whether it is his brilliant ability with a football, or the shameless arrogance with which he conducts himself on and off the pitch (we couldn’t resist using the picture of this hat for the second time today), Balotelli is never boring.
The Premier League needs characters like Balotelli if it is to maintain its reach around the world, and it was interesting to see that the top two players in the award ply their trade in England – though David De Gea of Atletico Madrid and Spain came third.
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